We’re very much looking forward to our next English Language and Linguistics seminar at 12noon on Wednesday 27th of April 2022. The speaker is Dr. Tim Wharton, from the University of Brighton, and he will be talking about Pragmatics and EmotionContinue reading “Pragmatics and Emotion”
The first speaker in our English Language and Linguistics research seminar series this semester is Hannah Gibson from the University of Essex.Continue reading “Dynamic Syntax”
We are delighted to welcome Rachael Bailes, from Newcastle University, as the first speaker in our research seminar series this semester.
The talk takes place in person in room 205 in the Squires Annexe building.
You can find directions to the campus and a campus map here:
Rachael works on language evolution, cognitive science and social cognition. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher on the ESRC funded project ‘Constraints on the Adaptiveness of Information in Language (CAIL)’ at Newcastle. You can find out more about Rachael’s work at: https://rbailes.wordpress.com
The title of Rachael’s talk is:
‘Information uniformity in linguistic planning: form and function for noise resistance’
The abstract is below.
The full programme for this semester is at: https://northumbriaenglish.org/northumbria-linguistics-seminars-2021-2022/
. . .
In this talk I’ll summarise two recent studies conducted with colleagues on the project `Constraints on the Adaptiveness of Information in Language (CAIL)’, which involves using information theory to analyse language and its cognitive scaffolding.
Following Fenk and Fenk (1980, see also; Fenk-Oczlon, 2001), we suggest that information uniformity in linguistic planning represents an adaptation to noise resistance. We further suggest that language exhibits particular strategies for noise resistance that may be unique. Specifically, linguistic elements may be ordered across the whole utterance so as to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic communication failure in the presence of noise.
First, we demonstrate that more uniform ordering of elements confers functional noise resistance with a simulation study that compares the preservation of information in different distributions under conditions of noise. Second, we use historical corpus data on English and Icelandic to show that information uniformity is specifically and actively preserved by linguistic planning across time, unperturbed by structural language change. Taken together, this evidence suggests form and function for noise resistance in language, and the talk ends with some brief discussion about the future directions of this work.
Fenk, A., & Fenk, G. (1980). Konstanz im kurzzeitgedächtnis-konstanz imsprachlichen informationsfluß. Zeitschrift für experimentelle und ange-wandte Psychologie,27, 402.
Fenk-Oczlon, G. (2001). Familiarity, information flow, and linguistic form. Typological Studies in Language,45, 431–448.
Unfortunately, our seminar which was due to take place next Wednesday (27th of October) has had to be postponed. It will now be happening on the 2nd of February 2022. We’ll share details again nearer the time.Continue reading “Creative Metaphor, Emotion and Evaluation”
We’ve had another change to the programme for our Toon Taaks conference on the 27th of July. The updated announcement (updated on the 21st of July) is below.Continue reading “Postgraduate Linguistics Conference Update”